The Grand’s GB1 have released a new afternoon tea and Daniel White stopped by to try Alan White’s surprising alternative to the midday classic.

If you turn up to GB1 expecting a typical high tea, expect to be surprised.

The Grand, Brighton’s GB1 Restaurant will release a new Fish Tea on April 4th, which is sure to change the way you think about high tea.

When I was told I would be reviewing Alan White’s Fish Tea I was part intrigued, part apprehensive, however, when the platter was brought out to our terrace table I was completely amazed.

Filled with seafood ranging from fresh crab to treacle cured salmon and from Poole Bay oysters to Keta caviar, the platter was topped off with a number of surprising additions, including the charming brown bread gelato ice cream; which I chose to start off with, so I could enjoy its wonderful texture before melting occurred.

Alan White, the Head Chef at GB1 and the creator of the Fish Tea, explains the thinking behind his new creation, saying: “The ice cream offers a unique twist and was inspired by a 1980’s flavour combination where smoked salmon and brown bread ice cream was seen to be a trendy choice. Visually, it offers contrast and intrigue bearing in mind its savoury flavour.
It’s good to offer a fun element too and in the summer months it will be all about indulging in fresh seafood and refreshing ice cream by the sea.”

Next up was the Wye Valley smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich using locally made chewy brown bread, before easing down an oyster, both of which went down with such ease that I had to make a mental note to slow myself down to ensure I savoured every bite.

Afterwards, my intrigue took hold of me and I tucked straight into the fresh crab; a mixture of white crab on the bottom with a topping of mixed brown crab and crème fraiche. Spread over Rye bread, this created a wonderful flavour and was my personal favourite from the meal.

The eyes of a langoustine staring at me as I ate wasn’t off-putting but did draw me to get my hands dirty for the first time, ripping it apart to try the delicious tail.  Following this, I gave Alan’s special salted scones a try.  I recommend a layer of crème fraiche, chives and Keta caviar topped with treacle cured salmon; a delightful new concept to the classic high tea scone.

“We felt seafood should dominate the fish tea, although, we didn’t want to overlook the cake element, which is synonymous with a traditional high tea,” Alan explains. “So we decided to create a salted scone, reducing the sugar content, heightening the salt flavour. This combination marries perfectly with the fish and seafood accompaniments.”

I finished off the meal by tucking into the mixture of jarred seafood, featuring prawns, mussels, cockles and clams while, throughout the meal, I was able to choose from a selection of champagne, iced tea, the Sussex inspired tea of infused lemon and ginger as well as the most refreshing lemonade I have ever tried.

Overall, the Fish Tea is the perfect antidote for a spring or summer afternoon, with refreshing tastes and surprising textures throughout. Undoubtedly one of a kind, I would highly recommend throwing caution to the wind by trying this highly thought through tea, which continually shocks the taste buds and will leave you thoroughly satisfied yet certain you want more.

The fish afternoon tea is available from 4th April at GB1 seafood restaurant from 2.30pm – 4.30pm.

Prices start from…
Monday to Thursday £22.95
Friday to Saturday £26.95